Rogue Agents - Foreword

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Rogue Agents: The Cercle and the 6I in the Private Cold War 1951 - 1991 is a book by David Teacher. It is reproduced here by permission of the author.

Foreword (2015)

The text which follows has more than doubled in size since the original 100,000 word manuscript of a book intended for publication in 1993 as the culmination of several years of research on the Cercle Pinay complex of groups, some of which had previously appeared in the Lobster magazine in the UK in 1988-1989. Ironically foreshadowed in the Introduction, the initial manuscript fell victim to its main claim to any merit – that it was the first transnational investigation of a paneuropean covert complex, the Cercle Pinay and its many national associates. Editors in several countries expressed great interest in publishing the manuscript … providing that the "foreign bits" could be reduced and the book refocused on their respective countries. With little chance of integral publication, the book project was shelved and, apart from one major revision in 1993 to integrate Brian Crozier's memoirs which confirmed the main thrust of this investigation, the manuscript gathered dust for the next fifteen years. The world moved on, and the events described below, hot news when the book was completed, became cold history.

Things would have remained like that had I not come across Joël van der Reijden's ISGP website ([ in 2007 – at that time, the only serious investigation of the Cercle Pinay since the original articles by Robin Ramsay and myself in the Lobster in the late 1980s. In appreciation of Joël's efforts, I revised the manuscript and published it as the second edition in 2008. It was however already clear that the history of the Cercle was incomplete: whilst the scattered print references had outlined some of the operations by the Cercle or the 6I in the 1970s and 1980s, almost nothing was known about the first two decades of the Cercle's existence. The confidential discussions of Adenauer, Strauß, Habsburg, Pinay and Violet went unminuted by the Cercle itself, and their private papers remained out of public view; only after their deaths were some of them opened to scholarly research.

Fortunately however, other contemporary sources did detail their activities from the 1950s to the 1970s within the other axis to this investigation – Habsburg's CEDI and the international Christian groups CIOC and CIDCC which included Pinay, Violet and Dubois. Franco's extensive support for this international Catholic network was well documented at the time by the Spanish Press, whose reporting is all the more reliable as, under Franco's regime of press censorship, every article had to be approved before publication by his Ministry of Information and Tourism, headed from 1962 to 1973 by two CEDI and Cercle mainstays, Fraga Iribarne and Sánchez Bella. With the advent of the Internet, these Press resources have now become available outside of Spain, and after further research of the two free online archives of La Vanguardia Española and ABC, a third and expanded edition of Rogue Agents was published in 2011, with Habsburg and Pinay included in the subtitle to aid internet searches and to reflect the added material.

Intended to be the final version, the third edition also included video weblinks for the major protagonists and an annex comprising all of the roughly 175 pages of internal documents used in research for this book, many from Florimond Damman's AESP, the Cercle's operational centre in Brussels throughout the 1970s. Most of these AESP documents had not previously been publicly released, online or elsewhere. As the documentary annex considerably increased the size of the PDF file, two versions of the third edition were published - a full version including the documentary annex (481 pages, 41 MB) and a shorter 'text only' version suitable for emailing or printing (290 pages, 1.4 MB), containing the complete book but omitting the documentary annex. Download links for both versions are given in the frontispiece; as the annex of internal documents is omitted here, researchers are strongly advised to download the full third edition as well as this updated fourth edition. Due to the complexity of covering both the Cercle and the 6I in their various activities in nine countries, it became too unwieldy to integrate all information into the main body of the text. Many details which are relevant but not central to this account of the 'Cercle complex' are therefore relegated to footnotes and marked with an asterisk thus (xxx)*, worth consulting whilst reading. Footnotes which merely give source references are marked (xxx) without an asterisk and need not be consulted whilst reading the main text.

Since the publication of the third edition in 2011, several significant primary sources on the Cercle have emerged, leading to the unforeseen need to update Rogue Agents. The first major primary sources to surface were internal Cercle meeting records from June 1982 to February 1985 included in the Hoover Institute archive of papers from Monique Garnier-Lançon, security advisor to Jacques Chirac and French convenor of the Cercle in the first half of the 1980s. Published on the web by Joël van den Reijden, they may be found at (the list for the early 1983 meeting, almost certainly held in Washington, is included in the Bonn 1983 download).

Needless to say, the first direct revelation of Cercle participation in the early to mid-1980s cannot be overlooked. These Cercle meeting records, detailed in a new Postscript, confirm the main personalities already mentioned in this book, whilst also identifying several previously unknown members, including former senior CIA and MI6 officers as well as powerful members of the Reagan Administration and the US Congressional staff. On the European level, the Cercle lists also document the participation at Cercle meetings of senior figures from not only the CSU's HannsSeidel-Stiftung, but also the CDU's Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the two main backers and beneficiaries of the private intelligence service run by erstwhile 6I member Hans von Stauffenberg.

Perhaps the most explosive revelation in the Cercle participants' lists concerns Belgium, then suffering a wave of murderous assaults on supermarkets – the Brabant Wallon killings. The documents confirm the presence within the mid-1980s Cercle of almost all of the members of the post-Damman MAUE Board, a discovery that should not be under-estimated. At the same time as attending the Cercle meetings, the MAUE team was certainly also working closely with the 6I, Crozier's private operational intelligence agency, in its virulent international campaign against the nuclear disarmament movement. Belgian researcher Hervé Beghinselen has provided invaluable access to an extensive archive of the LIL internal bulletin Damoclès as well as to the Hoover Institution papers of two key sources: the Bulgarian Kyril Drenikoff, a longstanding intimate of Belgian Cercle convenor Jacques Jonet and LIL mainstay Paul Vankerkhoven, and Monique Garnier-Lançon, the French Cercle convenor mentioned above who was also Vice-Chairman of the EIS. These primary sources shed much light both on the role of the Belgian LIL/AESP/MAUE/PIO complex in running the Belgian 6I front groups RAPPEL and the IEPS, and on their troubled relationship with the EIS.

To turn to America, new primary sources detailing the Cercle's transatlantic outreach in 1969-70 have emerged following the declassification of the meeting notes and telephone transcripts of Henry Kissinger, including a record prepared for Kissinger of the debate at a 1970 Cercle meeting – a document which gives unique insight into Cercle discussions, never minuted by the Cercle itself. The memorandum, kindly provided by Dac Cong Papsouley, is reproduced in a new annex bringing together this author's research on the post-war Christian groups CIOC and the CIDCC which involved Pinay, Violet and Dubois. The most intriguing document from this period is a further secret memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon with an attached CIA report which detail the involvement of Pesenti and Violet in a hitherto unknown covert Catholic group, Sint Unum, as described by Alice Arduini, formerly of the University of Florence, whose research paper is included in the annex with permission and with thanks.

Another important American diplomatic source has been the wealth of declassified State Department cables from the Central Foreign Policy Files made available online by the National Archives and Records Administration. Although the cables only cover the period 1973-1978, they have provided much detail about several Cercle members and have revealed a hitherto unknown four-day Cercle meeting held in November 1977, coordinated by Jameson and attended by Pinay, Strauß, Sánchez Bella, senior Italian industrialists (no doubt including Pesenti), Portuguese putschist general Kaúlza de Arriaga, David Rockefeller, Kissinger, Brzezinski, US Defense Secretary Harold Brown, George Meany and Lane Kirkland of the AFL-CIO, and reportedly also attended by Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal and William Colby, who had retired the previous year as Director of Central Intelligence.

A further contemporary source now integrated into Rogue Agents has been the online archive of the American-based exile newspaper The Ukrainian Weekly, which tells us much about WACL from its 1966 creation on.

Academic historians have also made further contributions extending our fragmentary knowledge of the Cercle complex. Professor Giles Scott-Smith of Leiden University has pursued his investigation of Interdoc in an authoritative publication in 2012 – see footnote 33. German intelligence historian Dr. Stefanie Waske has thoroughly researched the archive of Stauffenberg's private intelligence service, an early core component in Crozier's 6I – see footnote 325. Dr. William Clark of Strathclyde University, a previous Lobster contributor who runs the very informative site, has kindly provided his doctorate on the IEDSS, a key British partner in the anti-disarmament campaign run by the 6I and its allies in the 1980s. In 2007, Dr. Klaartje Schrijvers of the University of Gent produced an outstanding doctorate based on investigative journalist Walter de Bock's archive of personal papers left by Florimond Damman; it has unfortunately only recently come to my attention, and is highly recommended. The Gaullist historian Dr. Catherine Lanneau of the University of Liège has described Damman's political activities in the 1960s prior to the foundation of LIL and the AESP - on Schrijvers and Lanneau, see footnote 88.

A very significant recent academic work is Transnational Anti-Communism and the Cold War, the proceedings of a conference held at the University of Fribourg in October 2011 which included a presentation on the Cercle by Dr. Adrian Hänni of the University of Zürich. Published in April 2014 almost exactly thirty years after investigative journalist Pierre Péan blazed the trail, Hänni's article A Global Crusade against Communism: the Cercle in the "Second Cold War" was the first academic paper to be specifically devoted to the Cercle and is essential reading, drawing on the personal archives of Cercle members Julian Amery, Brian Crozier, Monique Garnier-Lançon and William A. Wilson. Hänni is currently preparing a longer research project on the Cercle which will hopefully bear fruit – see The 2011 conference proceedings also contain important contributions by Professor Scott-Smith on Interdoc, veteran journalist Pierre Abramovici on WACL and Junior Professor Dr. Johannes Großmann of Tübingen University on the CIDCC. Since then, Großmann has produced a March 2014 article, Winning the Cold War: Anti-Communism, Informal Diplomacy, and the Transnational Career of Jean Violet, and a subsequent major book on CEDI, the CIDCC and the early Cercle, Die Internationale der Konservativen – see footnote 4 for references and a review. Although sparse on details of the later Cercle, Großmann's book does record the regular Cercle attendance in the late 1970s of Shield initiator Sir Stephen Hastings, IEDSS linch pin Lord Chalfont, German conservative mainstay Gerhard Löwenthal and the American "Prince of Darkness", Richard Perle, confirming their description in this book as important members of the Cercle complex.

Journalists too have added to the body of Cercle research since 2011, notably in portraying British ex-MI6 members of the Cercle and the 6I. An informative postwar history of MI6 by BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera sheds light on the "Robber Barons", a hardline pro-covert action faction within MI6 to which G. K. Young and Cercle members Julian Amery, Nicholas Elliott and Anthony Cavendish belonged. A detailed account by espionage author Ben Macintyre of the relationship between Kim Philby and Elliott reveals much about the personality of Crozier's faithful deputy whilst not covering his later activities in Shield and the 6I that are described here.

Meanwhile time has taken its toll; over recent years, many of the core members of the Cercle complex or the 6I have died – Hans Huyn and Robert C. Richardson in January 2011, Otto von Habsburg in July 2011, Manuel Fraga Iribarne in January 2012, Brian Crozier in August 2012 (the last of the hommes de l'ombre – Jean Violet is now known to have died in December 2000), Margaret Thatcher in April 2013, Giulio Andreotti and Herb Romerstein in May 2013, Joe Douglass in May 2014 and Arnaud de Borchgrave in February 2015. Others live on: Henry Kissinger turned 92 in May 2015, and David Rockefeller celebrated his 100th birthday on 12th June 2015.

Since the publication of the third edition of Rogue Agents in 2011, Europe has also commemorated two milestones in its evolution in which the Cercle had a hand. In January 2013, France and Germany jointly fêted the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 Elysée Treaty that had been brokered by Violet, an occasion marked by the first binational issue of a special two Euro coin. In October 2015, Germany celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of its 1990 reunification, a process that had been triggered by Habsburg's "Paneuropean Picnic" in August 1989.

These events make it an apposite moment to bring this investigation to a natural close, twenty-five years after it started in the UK magazine Lobster - hopefully this final edition will assist later researchers to shed more light on the considerable covert part played in European and world history by the Cercle and the 6I.

David Teacher